Global Midwifery

At the airport

I’m at the airport with a bording pass, which has been no small feat given recent weather events. I will arrive in Tanzania a day later than expected, but the delay gave me a wonderful night with an old friend and a much needed chace to sleep and destress.

I don’t think I realized how crazy my schedule had been over the past few weeks, or how exhausted I was. Starting the journey yesterday would have been a disaster, and honestly I dreaded the trip so much more than I desired it.

Truth is, I shouldn’t be a good traveler. I get car sick. I get migraine headaches when my schedule is a mess. My ankles are always a little swollen anyway, so you can imagine how big they are after a 16 hour flight. But with few exceptions, my travel has been uneventful. How fortunate that when it didn’t go as planned it gave me such an opportunity to be ready for a healthy (physically and emotionally) trip.

You are probably wondering if I am still dreading the trip. I would be lying if I said no. I know what lies ahead of me. I know that it is emotionally draining. I know this will be hard. But I also know I cannot fully understand what it means to care for women in different settings if I don’t experience those settings. This will be different from my other experiences, and I need to understand the differences.

It will still be hard, but I feel as if my ability to handle the difficulty has increased. The idea of the trip is no longer overwhelming. And most importantly, I can have frustration that this type if trip needs to happen (that pregnancy and birth are still so unsafe in some places) without feeling overwhelmed about experiencing it.

So yes, I do dread seeing my first stillbirth, having to a mother her baby didn’t make it for the first time. But I no longer dread the whole trip. And t

Jennifer Vanderlaan (Author)